Getting sober can seem like a tall order for anyone is in active addiction, and even those early in recovery. Often times the thought that recovery is a death sentence, that life is over, and everything has to be given up, will run through someone’s mind that is contemplating sobriety. In actuality, it is the complete opposite. Recovery gives you your life back; it gives you the opportunity to do and have things you never thought possible.
The following is letter written by one of our staff members in sobriety. He sheds light on his misconceptions of recovery, how he thought it was the end, and how it was really, only the beginning.
“Before recovery, I ran on fear; I was consumed with it; I was terrified of missing out. What if my friends do something really fun and I’m not there? I don’t want to miss those experiences and memories. I want to be around for it all. If I get sober, then I won’t be able to go to the bar with them. I probably wouldn’t even be able to be around them. These are the things I would tell myself. In hindsight, I realize that feeling was only a condition of a much deeper problem.
Sometimes we do not even realize the things we’ve missed out on in our active addiction. The things that the everyday person may take for granted. The little things like being able to wake up and feel good both physically and mentally. Being able to hold a job and pay your own bills on time, without the support of others. Having the opportunity to look people in the eye and tell the truth. While these things may seem miniscule to most, if you are anything like me, well then, you should understand.
In my active addiction, fear and anxiety crippled me. Today I am able to be with family and not be afraid of what they are thinking or feeling. Now, I am able to walk into a room and not be afraid of being judged. In recovery, I have learned that no matter what obstacles come my way, as long as I have faith and trust in a Higher Power, everything will work out accordingly.
Having Fun In Recovery
I got sober when I was 25 years old, so inevitably like most young people, I thought my life was over. I genuinely believed that my days were going to consist of sitting in churches with old guys talking about the “good ol’ days”. Boy was I wrong. Recovery is nothing like that, not even in the slightest bit. While the process most definitely required a ton of work on my part, the gifts of sobriety made it all worth it.
Looking back, I think to myself, how did I ever think that was fun? The majority of the time, I was bogged down by the burden of using, coming up with what I thought were elaborate schemes to get more, and spending countless days and nights alone. Today, I do things I never thought I would be able to do. I go to several concerts every summer now, I attend baseball games with friends, and have even joined a softball league. Vacations are no longer a rare occurrence, nor do I have to worry about having enough drugs to get me through them. I can now push my body to higher limits with rock climbing and mountain biking, and have even gone skydiving.
The point is, while although I thought my life was over…it was only just beginning. I was on the verge of death at the ripe age of 25, and through recovery, I have been given a new lease on life.
The Gifts Of Recovery
It is almost impossible to truly express everything that has been given to me and the things that I have gained through recovery. Putting aside the physical possessions, I am the richest man I know. Sometimes I even think to myself, ‘no one has it better than me’. The promises of recovery really do materialize in your life when you are willing to do the work.
Most importantly I have my family back in my life today. They no longer hide their purses or lock doors when I come around. They invite me to do things with them, not because they feel obligated, but because they actually want me around. I have more friends than any one person could ask for. Laughter is a real thing and we do it often, most times to the point where our bellies hurt. When I was using, I rarely ever laughed. If I did, it was most likely a facade. I show up for work today and I do my job well. My bills are paid and so are my taxes. I stopped getting arrested in recovery and my criminal record is being cleaned up. All in all, I’m a happy, productive member of society.
Last but not least, I have my freedom back. Freedom of choice, freedom to wake up and do WHATEVER I want…as long as I don’t drink or drug, freedom from a seemingly hopeless state of mind. Drugs controlled me; I was my addiction’s hostage. It told me who to love, who to hurt, where to go, what to do, and where to spend my money. Now, with my Higher Power in control, I’ve been given more than I could have ever hoped for. I owe it all to recovery, the rooms of AA and NA, and my Higher Power. Because, if my fate were left up to me and my own thinking, I would have been six feet under a long time ago. Instead, something truly magical happened. It was as if I was reborn. I finally found myself and where I belong. Recovery is NOT a death sentence…it is merely the beginning to a beautiful journey.”
Contact Clearbrook Today
If you or someone you love is suffering from the disease of alcoholism and/or drug addiction, please allow us to help. We understand the pain you may be going through, as many of us have been there ourselves. We have found a way out of the darkness; we have found a solution.
For more than 40 years Clearbrook Treatment Centers has been providing effective drug and alcohol treatment to the addicted, while also educating the affected family unit. If you are ready to make a change in your life, please contact our Admissions Specialists today. They are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you may have.